Today is New Year’s Day; the beginning of a whole new year. A clean slate, so to speak. Most people make resolutions this time of year to be implemented today. I think a good percentage of these people probably don’t make any long lasting changes because of this – they are probably lucky if they stick to their particular resolution for a few weeks. Resolutions are quickly forgotten or pushed aside. Resolutions, in my experience, don’t last very long. Do you really think there is anyone out there who on December 31st is still working on a resolution they made 365 days prior? Maybe you do. Maybe you have. Maybe I’m just being cynical, but I definitely don’t know many.
I didn’t really make a resolution this year. In fact, I haven’t made one in years. The reasoning for this is not because I disagree with resolutions or what they stand for. To the contrary, I think any person who is willing to plan out and conscientiously try to make any change or improvement in their life, no matter the timing or reason, is doing something worthwhile, something good. A resolution is definitely a step in the right direction. I just don’t make resolutions myself for fear that I won’t succeed; that I too will become one of the masses who quickly forget and cast aside those well planned out ways to progress myself. And although that’s probably not a really good reason for forsaking them, it’s entirely the truth.
That isn’t to say there aren’t a few things I would like to accomplish in 2013..
But, nevertheless, I will openly admit to you the things I would like to do this year. I hope that any one of you will try to keep me in check and make me stand firm on my word to commit to these things. I hope that any one of you will help me to accomplish these things.
The first of these would be to blog more. And not only to blog more often, but to write more extensively on certain subjects when I do. To stick to a particular blogging schedule – say to write every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday. Maybe even everyday! But, don’t get your hopes up on that one because I am definitely going to regret saying that, and I definitely won’t be able to accomplish it!
The second of these would be to double the amount of people who SUBSCRIBE to my blog. The amount of people who have, thus far, subscribed to my blog is only, on average, ten percent of the people who actually read it when things are posted. Some days the average (of people subscribed) is much less due to a higher volume of traffic. By this time next year I would really like to have 40 people subscribed. Wishful thinking? I hope not. (Wanna help me reach this goal? YOU can EASILY subscribe by scrolling down to the very bottom of this page and submitting your e-mail address in the required field.)
The third, and last, thing I am going to do this year is only a silly little thing, but it is something I have been waiting to start for a month now. (I needed to start it on the first of the year so I could turn it into a New Year’s Tradition!) I made a “Memory Jar”. In it we are going to place little memories of the day, silly things Mia has said, great accomplishments or even little pictures. Anything to remind us of something we did; together or apart. Things we don’t want to forget but we inevitably will if we don’t write them down. There is only one rule – we can NOT open it until 2014. We don’t have to write something every day, just every time something is funny or special, or even just when the mood strikes. Next year, on New Year’s Eve Roger and I will open the jar and be able to relive a few precious moments from the previous year. I’m really excited about this!
Before I end I would also like to devote a little piece of this post to Mia. I feel she deserves some recognition. I really think she deserves some praise. And I really, really want to tell you all about the amazing leaps, bounds, and extensive progress my special girl made over the past year. In order to do that I have compiled a list of things Mia has started doing this year, new character traits I have seen, new skills she has acquired, different abilities she now has, etc. etc.
I am so proud of my daughter for each and every one of these new found skills – from the smallest inch forward to the highest jump they are all leaps in the right direction. And she deserves, maybe even more than your average person, to know that I am proud of her. That people are proud of her. That you, dear reader, are proud of her.
These accomplishments are arranged in no particular order. The list is not all encompassing. There are some things left out for privacy’s sake. There are some things left out because I am not sure if she has totally mastered them yet. There are some things left about because they have not been noticed, or have purely, and accidentally, been forgotten or overlooked. If anyone who knows Mia feels I left something out please let me know what it is. I’d love to hear it.
Mia’s 2012 Accomplishments:
- Mia now enjoys to color with crayons and markers and she also absolutely loves to paint. Before this year she was only interested in watching me.Now, we do this together as a mother-daughter activity. I am stoked. Take a look at the awesome chameleon we painted together last night. As you can see, she is also pretty good at staying in the lines!
- Mia now thoroughly enjoys school (knock on wood!). Last year, half way through, she started to have a difficult time. She hated going. She hated staying. She lashed out. She hit. She bit. She was angry. Due to proper placement this year and a feeling of accomplishment in the classroom she now loves it.
- Just this year Mia started to ask us to read books to her. She never enjoyed this activity until now. She would quickly change the page before we even finished the first sentence. She now methodically points to each word while we read them.
- She has stopped walking on her tip-toes altogether. Unless, it is for a very specific reason like playing our T-Rex “sneaking” game. This is something she has done forever. And it is very common amongst autistic children; actually being one of the “early warning signs of autism”. What does this mean for Mia? It means her balance has improved immensely.
- She can now play catch – throwing a ball to you and catching it when it is thrown back. This is SO huge for many reasons. One, it is a turn taking game that involves a “teammate” and some level of understanding of another person’s actions. It requires a decent amount of coordination to throw a ball at a target and to then be able to catch that same ball when it comes back. It also requires Mia to share, something that is hard for a child who tends to enjoy solo play.
- She is better able to cope in public, noisy places. This is still very much a work in progress but she has made such significant advancement here that it had to be listed. (She did really exceptional at my parent’s house Christmas day and there was quite the crowd.)
- Mia is learning to read on her own. She knows practically every single “sight” word there is.
- Mia is learning to write on her own – without assistance. She used to lazily hold onto her pencil and would only write when someone placed their hand over hers, thus making her go through the motions. And she is also starting to use capitol and lower case letters (previously when she wrote her name it was in all caps, now only the “M” is!)
- She can spell a great many words now. Formerly, she only knew how to spell her own name. Some of the words she can spell are: balloon, cat, dog, boy, super, candy, chocolate, cake, pig, lion, mouse, bear, nuts, trees, Henry, mom, dad.. the list goes on and on..
- Mia had a piece of her artwork shown at the Zilkha Gallery at Wesleyan University this past March. (This specific piece actually makes up the backdrop on my website banner!)
- She is forming sentences with pre-written words on flashcards.
- Mia is saying “hi,” independently with little to no prompting, much more often.
- Mia takes yoga classes and can now do the position “table top” on her own. This is pretty amazing for a little girl who has a real difficulty with balance.
- She requests things more efficiently now. Using more than one word or hand gestures.
- She sleeps in her own bed!
Because of these fifteen things, and so many countless others, I am one of the proudest parents around today. Mia has worked endlessly for so many years to get to this point. I am so very, very proud of how far she has come, how quickly she has mastered some tasks, and how she can (and does), every single day, exceed my expectations. I am truly blessed. And, next year when I write my new year’s blog post about all the great things she has done in 2013, I will refer you back to this post and together we can see how far she has grown, once again.
I wish you the happiest, healthiest, and most prosperous New Year in 2013 – one full of beautiful moments.